“Who the hell is Joe Doe?” was one of my marketing slogans for a while. It is also a question I have been trying to answer for about 9 years now. Here is the history.
Joe Doe was born in 2009, when I felt the need to change my stage name. I had been recording and releasing music under the name D-O-E for years, but eventually I realized that it was not an internet-friendly name. Search engines ignored the hyphens, and you couldn’t Google my music without sifting through through Department of Education. So, I did this:
When I made that video, I knew I wanted a new brand with a darker identity, but there was no specific vision guiding it. After I moved out to Fort Wayne in 2012, Joe Doe became my main identity as a recording artist and live performer. The mask was only sometimes part of that identity. It had no purpose yet. There was no story behind the mask.
In the meantime, I continued working on a post-apocalyptic fictional mythos, sometimes called Dark Domain or Nocternal ( nocturnal + eternal). I took one of my lesser used musical personas, Dostah Shilailee, and made him a character in the story. Then it dawned on me to do the same with Joe Doe.
Now, there is finally a story behind the mask. Joe Doe is not just a stage name; he is a character. But what is his story, you ask? The first revelation is in my new poetry book, Mask: Persona. It gives an introduction to Joe Doe the same way Mask: Shadow did for Dostah.
And the mythos is to be continued through future Sykophunk releases…